Guess what, Vancouver? Travellers along the West Coast are one step closer to having access to a new high-speed railway connecting Vancouver with cities in Washington and Oregon.
According to the US’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), two rail programs recently received funding that will help passengers get across the border that much faster: The Amtrak Cascades and the Cascadia High-Speed Rail programs.
Both were awarded $500,000 through the Corridor Identification and Development (CID) Program, which means they’re now considered national rail corridors by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDT).
This means the railways are officially part of the federal funding pipeline in the U.S., awaiting the development of scopes, schedules, and cost estimates to move forward.
“WSDOT is very pleased to receive federal support for both important passenger rail programs,” says Washington Transportation Secretary Roger Millar. “These two complementary systems would connect with one another to transport people efficiently, reliably and in environmentally friendly ways.”
BIG NEWS 📢
We’re announcing funding for 10 major passenger rail projects across the country. These projects will bring high-speed rail to America, better connect more Americans, and keep our rail network in good repair. https://t.co/4jLeWKs6Q4 pic.twitter.com/MbcIGjgPLm
— U.S. Department of Transportation (@USDOT) December 8, 2023
According to the WSDT, the Cascadia Rail would include a separate rail corridor connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, with additional hour-long trips between each city.
The official website for the Cascadia Rail project outlines station locations in downtowns, airports, and employment centres, where the majority of passengers will be commuting from.
Each station will connect with a city’s existing bus/rail network.
With a budget of nearly $6 million (USD) and a projected completion year of 2028, it’ll certainly be a while before passengers can hop on board. But the good news is that the project finally has its legs, so hopefully, we’ll only keep moving forward.
Stay tuned for more info as it comes, including updates on funding and development.